DVD round-up: The Shadow Line, Scott & Bailey, Adjustment Bureau and Drive Angry

The week's best TV and film releases reviewed


DVD of the Week
The Shadow Line
 (Cert: 15)
5 stars
In a nutshell: A case of murder investigated by both sides of the law

If you missed this magnificent conspiracy thriller or are suffering withdrawal symptoms now that it’s over, then seek out Hugo Blick’s masterpiece starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Christopher Eccleston on DVD. The plot concerns the opposing methods used by cops and criminals to solve the murder of a man recently released from prison. But its study of blurred morality and scary bogeymen (Rafe Spall and Stephen Rea vie for top billing in your nightmares) are what make it totally unforgettable. David Brown

Format: DVD.
Extras: Deleted scenes.

Scott & Bailey (Cert: 15)
4 stars
In a nutshell: Cagney and Lacey in Manchester

At the time of writing, ITV1 had yet to make a decision as to whether Scott & Bailey would be recommissioned, but surely the North West’s answer to Cagney and Lacey have earned their place in the Sunday-night schedules? This opening run of six episodes quickly establishes Janet Scott (Lesley Sharp) and Rachel Bailey (Suranne Jones) as the best female crime-fighters on the block – more convincing than Olivia Williams in Case Sensitive and infinitely preferable to Brenda Blethyn’s stodgy Vera. Special mention should also go to Rupert Graves, who appears to be the go-to man when it comes to playing odious sleazebags on television. David Brown

Format: DVD.
Extras: Behind-the-scenes documentary.

Other highlights:
Primeval (series 5) – The team faces new threats, including a raptor on the rampage in Victorian London. Shown originally on Watch.
Parenthood (season 1) – Decent US family drama that reimagines Steve Martin’s classic comedy.
Eddie Stobart: Trucks and Trailers – The first series of the Channel 5 documentary, much mocked by Harry Hill’s TV Burp.


The Adjustment Bureau (Cert: 12)
3 stars
In a nutshell: Conspiracy thrills with Matt Damon and Emily Blunt 

Matt Damon is a senatorial candidate, Emily Blunt a dancer with a promising future. Will fate bring them together or keep them apart in this up-and-down amalgam of love story and high-concept sci-fi thriller? The idea originates from a 1954 short story by sci-fi maestro Philip K Dick, and is ambitious and imaginative, though the framework actually leaves the film struggling to explain away nagging inconsistencies as it tries to ratchet up suspense. But Damon and Blunt have such obvious chemistry we do start believing the ripple effects from a single kiss could indeed change our collective future. Trevor Johnston

Formats: DVD and Triple Play (DVD, Blu-ray and digital download).
Extras: Film-maker commentary, extended and deleted scenes and featurettes.

Drive Angry (Cert: 18)
3 stars
In a nutshell: Trashy fun with Nic Cage raising merry hell

A nonstop riot of gratuitous sex, full-on violence, gory gunfights and explosive car crashes make this a high-energy trash extravaganza. Vengeance-fuelled John Milton (Nicolas Cage) escapes Hell to pursue the satanic cult who killed his daughter and is now set on sacrificing her baby in order to unleash the Devil. Cage keeps his performance deliberately one-note to anchor the flashy mayhem, while William Fichtner steals every scene as the enigmatic Accountant, charged with getting Milton back to Hades. The sizzling dialogue, cartoon action and visual wildness remain at maxed-out extremes throughout for consistently enjoyable laughs and thrills. Alan Jones

Formats: DVD and Double Play (3D & 2D Blu-ray and DVD).
Extras: Film-makers commentary, featurettes and deleted scenes.

Hall Pass (Cert: 15)
2 stars
In a nutshell: Crude laughs from the off-form Farrellys

Gross-out purveyors the Farrelly brothers struggle to recapture the glory days of There’s Something about Mary with this comedy about a suburban married man suffering a midlife crisis. Owen Wilson plays Rick, whose lustful imaginings ludicrously lead his other half to grant him a week off marriage (a marital “hall pass”, if you like). Together with his obnoxious best pal, Fred (Jason Sudeikis), the two wannabe adolescents trawl the bars for girls. Wilson’s awkward charm keeps the film from being totally unbearable, but it’s tough to root for him, and any potentially funny insights are quickly drowned in a constant stream of bodily fluids. Stella Papamichael

Formats: DVD and Triple play (DVD, Blu-ray and digital download).
Extras: Extended version of the film, gag reel and a deleted scene.

Other highlights:
The Resident – Listless stalker shocker starring Hilary Swank.
An Ordinary Execution – Compelling drama about the last days of Stalin.
Fist of Fury (Ultimate Edition) – Two-disc reissue of the Bruce Lee classic, packed with extras.